Delaware State University Women represent at DAWN Conference

Courtesy of Delaware State University

As part of the celebration of Women’s History Month, a group of female educators from Delaware State University last week attended the annual Delaware ACE Women’s Network (DAWN) leadership summit, hosted at Goldey-Beacom College.

The March 22 “Women in Education L.E.A.D.” daylong summit featured keynote speaker Yahshikiah “Yah” Hughes and a multitude of workshops aligned with L.E.A.D. (Love. Educate. Advocate. Develop). Ms. Hughes is the Assistant Dean for Student and Corporate Engagement within the College of Business at Delaware State University.

Dr. Victoria Chang, president of DAWN, said it was the organization’s first in-person event since the pandemic and that about 125 women attended. “We’re very excited to be back,” she said. “We are able to network and support each other.”

DAWN is committed to the advancement of women leaders in higher education. For more than 25 years, DAWN has provided information and counsel to constituencies within the higher education community regarding policies, issues, education, and research that influence women’s equity, diversity, and advancement.

The organization provides national leadership in advancing women to executive positions on campus and serves as a national voice for women in higher education. Staff members also work in collaboration with associations and other groups in higher education on ways to improve the status of women.

DAWN is part of the American Council on Education (ACE), founded in 1918, with a mission to unite all of American higher education in service to students and society. Counted among its members are more than 1,800 accredited degree-granting colleges and universities and higher education-related associations, organizations, and corporations. ACE maintains both a domestic and an international agenda and, working with others, seeks to advance the interests and goals of higher and adult education in a changing environment.

Ms. Hughes, the keynote speaker, is a dedicated professional with over 15 years in the field of higher education who is known for her high energy, impactful trainings, and authenticity.

Coined The Purpose Cultivator ™️, Ms. Hughes is a best-selling author, award-winning speaker, barrier-breaking coach and emotional wellness specialist. She also is the Founder of Cultivate Wholeness, a self-development firm that teaches women how to live a life of courage and wholeness.

Ms. Hughes is the author of HELLO ME: The Power of Cultivating and Loving the Authentic You; Made Whole: A Woman’s Journey from Painful to Purposeful; and You Need It, I Got It: Conversations with Global Entrepreneurs on Growing Your Audience, Visibility & Influence.

In her remarks, which Ms. Hughes said were centered on the L.E.A.D. theme, she asked educators to present a number of questions they could ask to assess how well they are leading themselves and their career.

“Are you the driver, or the passenger just along for the ride in your leadership seat?” she asked. “Are you driving from the back seat? If we are going to lead, we’ve got to figure out what seat you are in.”

A group of women from Del State attended, led by Dr. Dawn Mosley, Senior Associate Vice President of the Department of Marketing & Communications, and Dr. Kim Sudler, Associate Vice President for Academic Operations, who serve on the DAWN Executive Leadership Committee and Summit Planning Committee.

Dr. Mosley said that exercises like the leadership summit provide a number of benefits to educators and the students they teach and inspire.

“This Women’s Network is another way to connect with aspiring women in various institutions and other organizations to showcase our collective research and expertise. It also provides insight that we, as women, share most of the same challenges and are better when we work together,” said Dr. Mosley. “With the largest-ever group of women from Delaware State University participating in the DAWN summit this year, I am proud that we are taking steps to impact our history and learn and grow alongside one another.”

On campus, to further strengthen women’s unity at DSU and provide guidance and leadership to female students, faculty, and staff, Dr. Mosley has formed the first Women Inspiring Network (WIN) set to launch in April. The WIN will comprise women in various roles at the university to strengthen their collaboration, empower and support each other’s personal and professional growth, provide mentoring, and engage and uplift our future women leaders.